Who should get dental sealants?

Dental sealants are dental treatments used to prevent cavities and seal crevices in the teeth. Getting sealants for teeth can go a long way in fighting dental problems that may occur later in a child’s development. The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that dental sealants for kids and dental sealants for adults are both safe and effective.
Dental sealants are protective, composite seals placed over the crevices of a child’s or adult’s tooth where decay most often starts. They have proven successful in preventing cavities before they start!
Because children are always on the go and a little less than conscientious about brushing, and particularly for those who are prone to cavities, we suggest that you consider sealants for them. Even adults can benefit from a tooth sealant.
Many people are under the impression that once a tooth is sealed, that it's completely protected from decay. Of course, if the sealant falls off, that's not true. But the sealant only protects against cavities on the grooves of the biting surfaces of the tooth. Let's say the sealant is working as intended -- you can still get cavities on the smooth surfaces of the teeth. Kids can get cavities on these smooth surfaces almost just as easily as the grooves. Many people get a false sense of security with sealants, so be aware of this. 
Dental sealants (a plastic material that is applied to a chewing surface of a back tooth) are most often placed in children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in. But adults can benefit from sealants too, because you never "outgrow" the risk for developing cavities.

Prevention is always better than treatment. Sealants are very useful in preventing tooth decay on the back teeth and can save patients money in the long run. Your dentist can make sealants part of your plan for a healthy mouth.

Continue Learning about Common Dental Procedures

What is tooth shaping?
Dr. Supriya VermaDr. Supriya Verma
Tooth shaping is a way to make minor changes in the tooth shape to enhance their appearance; i.e...u...
More Answers
What should I consider when choosing a tooth restoration method?
Paul Rubin, DDSPaul Rubin, DDS
You need to consider the strength, longevity, comfort, and esthetics of a dental restoration. But mo...
More Answers
Can teeth or a jaw be reconstructed after head or neck surgery?
After head or neck surgery, your surgeon can perform reconstructive surgery to restore your jaw ...
More Answers
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.